The possible applications of servo motors are numerous and can be found in toys, radio-controlled models, cars, and commercial aircraft. At Rozum Robotics, we also explore the use of servos as robotic actuators, taking advantage of their ability to ensure accurate motion control.
Why robots need a servo motor
Similar to a human body, links and joints form the skeleton of a robot. Servo motors are the muscles that move and rotate the links and joints to alter the robot’s position and movement.
In contrast to a regular motor that rotates continuously and halts only when we turn it off, a servo can stop at any required position and hold it until it receives another command. With an integrated feedback mechanism, servos are fully self-contained, which allows for implementing speed and angle control in a robot arm or a robotic hand.
Boasting a high repeatability rate, the robotic actuators maintain the precision of a robot's movements throughout numerous work cycles. Energy-efficient and easy-to-service, servo motors make it possible to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining a robot.
Where to get a robotic servo motor
From our experience, there are three options for getting a robotic servo motor:
If you are looking for low prices and fast delivery, you can consider this option. However, cheap servo motors from Asia are usually not built to handle serious loads needed for industrial applications. There's also a risk that the actual parameters will be different from the stated specifications.
Buy a servo motor from a recognized European or American manufacturer. This option gives you a quality motor, but you will need to order large quantities to avoid long delivery wait times. If you need just a few servos to build a prototype robot arm, you may have to wait for half a year! You must also consider that customization will increase the cost significantly, making the price for the order up to 100K Euros.
Make a robotic actuator of your own. This way you can have the customizations and quality you want, but your total expenses may equal the cost of 500 standard servos. You will also have to spend hours looking for reliable suppliers and skilled personnel. This option will require a lot of hard work on your part.
The first RDrive servo motor was created to drive Rozum Robotics collaborative robot that we designed and built completely in house. We were disappointed with the quality of cheap Asian servos and were unwilling to pay for expensive customization in Europe. The factors motivated us to take it upon ourselves to design and create our own robotic actuator.
RDrive servos are available in a range of sizes and offer the following major benefits as robotic actuators: